You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a manufactured dog house for your pooch. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get a little crafty, you could make a DIY dog house at home for a fraction of the price. Plus, DIY dog house gives you endless customization options. You can paint or stain the house any color, use shingles to create a realistic roof, give your dog their own personal deck, add windows and decorations, and customize the house in just about any way you can think of. And if you’d rather keep it simple, you can give your dog a sturdy dog house that keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
However, it’s important to realize that DIY dog house plans are an intensive, time-consuming project. It’s not as simple as taking two planks of wood, slapping a roof on top, and calling it a day. Your dog deserves a sturdy dog house that protects them from the elements and gives them a private, shady place to relax. For best results, you might need a little construction experience before you start your project. If you don’t have much experience, this is the perfect time to learn. The Internet has countless videos with step-by-step instructions on building your own DIY dog house.
A DIY dog house is one of the best gifts that you can offer your pooch. Here’s what you need to know about building your very own dog house.
How Do You Build a Dog House?
Every house is different, but most dog houses have a few basic elements. You can customize your dog house plans as much as you need to meet your dog’s specific needs. Some people make dog houses with plastic or metal, but most experts recommend using wood because it’s dry, sturdy, and provides some insulation. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll need to do to build a great DIY dog house.
Figure Out How Much Space You Need
Find a space in your yard to place the dog house, preferably within the boundaries of their invisible dog fence, if you have one. Then measure that space to figure out how big the base should be. Your DIY dog house doesn’t have to be huge, but it should give your dog enough space to lounge and relax comfortably. Consider that you might need room for other items in the dog house like a pillow, blanket, or water bowl.
Start with the Base
With a sturdy base, your dog won’t have to lie on the cold, muddy ground and get its fur dirty. A base also provides extra insulation that keeps your dog comfortable in extreme temperatures. Connect four wooden boards to make a box, then screw a sheet of plywood on top. The base will resemble a miniature deck.
Make the Side Walls
After you make the base, you’ll need two sidewalls that are exactly the same size. You’ll also need two front-and-back walls that are the same size. Cut an opening in the front wall so your dog can get inside the house. Don’t make the opening too large–when you have a big opening, more rain and snow can get in. You might want to install a door or flap over the door to protect your dog from the elements.
Build the Framing
Using a long piece of wood, cut out eight framing pieces for the dog house. Place one piece on each corner of the base, then secure them to the plywood. Attach the sidewalls and the front-and-back walls to the framing pieces. This makes your dog house tough and sturdy.
Construct the Roof
A classic dog house has a sloping roof that forms a triangle shape. You could make a flat roof, but a sloping roof is better because snow, rain, leaves, and debris slide right off the plywood. Cut out two identical rectangular pieces to make the roof panels.
Attach the Roof to the Dog House
Attach the remaining framing pieces to the upper parts of the front and back walls. Screw the roof to the top of the structure to complete the dog house. You now have the perfect house for your guard dog.
How Do You Customize Your Dog House?
Once you know how to build a basic dog house, the customization options are virtually limitless. To start, you can paint your dog house any color. Keep it simple with one basic color, or get fancy by painting designs on the walls. If you prefer a wood stain, you could use an exterior stain that brings out the natural beauty of the wood. You could also use a clear sealant on the plywood if you prefer a bare, DIY look.
Of course, your customization options go well beyond paint. Here are a few ways you can turn a basic dog house into a decorative piece for your yard:
- Add a deck to the front of the house. This gives your dog more room to lounge and enjoys the sunlight. Typically, this involves making the base longer so it has some overhang. You could also attach a covered roof to the porch to protect your dog from snow and rain.
- Hang a cute sign over the door. You could make a wood or metal sign that features your dog’s name or a cute slogan. You could also paint your dog’s name directly onto the house.
- If your dog house has a deck, cut out holes for the dog food and water bowls. This gives you the perfect place to store your dog’s bowls without your dog dragging them around the yard. It also makes your dog house look more attractive and intuitive.
- Add wheels to the bottom of the house to make it mobile. This might seem like a strange idea, but it makes it much easier to relocate the dog house when you need to.
- Add shingles or corrugated metal to the roof to give it more protection and make it look like a real house.
- If you’re an experienced carpenter, build a swimming pool for the dog house. This allows your dog to cool off in the summer without requiring a trip to the lake.
- Attach decorations like weather vanes, potted plants, and temperature gauges if you can trust your dog not to tear them up.
- Build a shelf on one of the outer walls so you have room to store your dog’s toys. You can craft a simple wooden box without much effort.
- Construct windows in the side walls. If you want to get elaborate, you could add window frames, shutters, and a basket for plants underneath each window.
- Experiment with an attractive stone base instead of a wooden base. Just make sure that it’ll be comfortable for your dog.
Should You Insulate the Dog House?
The walls and roof provide some protection from the elements, but you might want to insulate your dog’s house for extra comfort. Just like the insulation in your house, insulation in your dog’s house keeps hot and cold air from penetrating the walls. You can use fiberglass, spray foam insulation, and other types of insulation to protect your dog. If you don’t have insulation sitting around, Home Depot recommends nailing carpet to the inner walls. However, this might not be the best option if your dog tends to chew on the carpet.
How Much Skill Do You Need to Build a Dog House?
If you’re keeping it simple, a dog house isn’t necessarily a bad starter project. You’ll learn how to measure wood, cut out pieces of plywood, use power tools and complete a project that you can use every day. Once you have this experience, you can move onto other projects like tables and birdhouses. You could also challenge yourself by adding features to your dog houses like shelves, decks and dog ramps, and covered porches.
For experienced carpenters, a dog house offers the perfect opportunity to get creative. You can build features that you’ve always wanted to add to a full-size house without spending tens of thousands of dollars. Make a log cabin dog house, build doors and windows, paint an elaborate design, and experiment with different roofing materials. If you have kids, you might want to invite them to paint the outside of the house.
What Should You Place Inside the Dog House?
You can furnish the inside of the dog house with anything that your dog needs to be comfortable. You might include blankets, pillows, a dog bed, dog toys, and dog bowls. However, you could keep the inside of the house bare if your dog will chew everything up. Some dogs need a lot of cushions while others are perfectly fine sleeping on a bare floor.
Some people make elaborate dog houses with small rugs, couches, lamps, and even paintings on the wall like a dollhouse. Others include small lights and family photos. You might want to carpet the floor if your dog doesn’t want to lie on bare wood or stone. Just make sure you don’t get too fancy— your dog needs to have enough room in their house to move around comfortably.
Will a Dog House Protect Your Dog from the Elements?
If you insulate your dog’s house, it can offer some protection for your dog in the winter. The insulation could keep your dog warm while the sturdy constriction keeps wind and snow from leaking in. However, that doesn’t mean that you should leave your dog out there all winter. People have found their dogs frozen to death in their dog houses after the temperature dropped. Your dog isn’t immune to the cold, so bring them in during the cold winter months.
Similarly, a dog house gives your pet a cool, shady place to relax when they get overheated. However, their dog house can get hot and congested when the sun beats down on the roof for hours. Take your dog inside when the temperatures spike so they can relax in the A.C. If your dog has a water bowl near their dog house, make sure you refill it regularly. Otherwise, they could get dehydrated before the day is over.
When your dog has a case of the zoomies, a dog house gives them the perfect place to rest and recuperate. A dog house allows your pet to enjoy the outdoors without constant exposure to the rain, wind, and sunlight. It’s cool and shady in the summer and warm and cozy in the winter— perfect for a dog who loves to spend time in nature.
A dog house is also a great construction project for newbies and experienced builders alike. If you’ve never worked on a construction project before, a simple dog house gives you plenty of experience. Seasoned carpenters can build elaborate houses with decks, fancy roofs, windows, shelves, and much more. A great dog house isn’t an eyesore— it’s a fun, attractive addition to your front yard.
The dog house won’t protect your pet from everything, so it’s important to bring them inside when the temperatures hit the extremes. But overall, a dog house is great for casual, everyday use. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on an expensive kennel, treat your dog to a homemade gift that you made just for them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make a homemade dog house?
To make a homemade dog house, you’ll need treated wood, power tools, and materials that you want to use to customize your house. This could include paint, insulation, shingles, and roofing materials.
How do you make a simple dog kennel?
A basic dog kennel has a base, walls, roof, and doorway. You can make the structure with treated wood from your local hardware store. The Internet has hundreds of free dog house plans that can help you construct your dog house.
How much does it cost to build a dog house?
The cost can vary depending on how much work you put into it. If you already have power tools in your garage, a simple dog house might not cost more than the price of wood and nails from the hardware store. However, the dog house might be more expensive if you buy other materials like paint, shingles, and deck stain.
How do you build an insulated dog house?
To insulate the dog house, you can place fiberglass insulation or spray foam insulation inside the walls. Make sure you cover up the insulation so your dog doesn’t chew on it.